Band Bios Gallery
Karina Denike is a singer, songwriter and performer from the S.F. Bay Area. Her credits include performing, recording and composing for local groups, Stara Nova, Mr.Lonesome and The Bluebelles, Jezebelle, Dance Hall Crashers, Marc and The Casuals, 8 Legged Monster, Ralph Carney's Serious Jass Project, her own self titled group, and The Cottontails!
She has released over 20 albums on major and independent labels and has had her compositions on TV and film soundtracks.
Her performances include international appearances at The Montreaux Jazz festival, (Switzerland), The Reading Festival (UK) and tours to Europe, Hawaii, Japan, Australia, Mexico and more. National appearances include The Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, Yoshi’s, The Palace of Fine Arts, Lilith Fair, The Fillmore, The Shoreline Amphitheatre, The House of Blues (L.A., Chicago, New Orleans), The Empire Plush room and more.
Michael McIntosh plays classical, jazz and rock piano in San Francisco. He has recorded with Ralph Carney's Serious Jass Project, Karina Denike, Mr. Lonesome and the Bluebelles, Jonathan Richman, Jolie Holland, the Blue Room Boys, among others. In addition to performing and recording music, Michael has written theater music for many San Francisco theater productions, including the opera "Watt," from a novel by Samuel Beckett. Michael studied composition with Gordon Crosse, Tony Lolov and Justin Connolly; classical piano with Betty Oberacker; jazz piano with Moacir Santos and Mark Levine; and classical guitar with Paul Binkley.
You can catch him playing with the Cottontails or playing solo at The Rite Spot, the coolest bar in San Francisco!
Vic Wong is a jazz guitarist and bassist, specializing in early jazz and swing. His playing is defined by tasteful, melodic leads and minimalist Freddie Green-style rhythm to keep the band swingin'. A student of all music, his influences also span from rock, ska, reggae, funk, soul, and hip-hop. One of Vic's biggest influences is Django Reinhardt, whose music he performs with his own Gypsy Jazz band Panique. Additionally, Vic has performed many bay area bands including Gaucho, Emily Anne's Delights, the Congress, Lord Loves a Working Man, Tin Cup Serenade, the Alcatraz Islanders, Project Pimento, and the Au Brothers Jazz Band.
Randy Odell plays drums professionally with a variety of bands, jazz vocalists and singer/songwriters. He has backed headliners Klea Blackhurst, Sharon McNight, Denise Perrier, Jill Tracy and the legendary "Madame". As the drummer for Terese Genecco's show Drunk with Love, a Tribute to Frances Faye, Randy played Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, twice. In the summer of 2009, Randy was timpanist in an orchestra performing the opera "Hansel und Gretel", the primary event in Arosa, Switzerland's annual Musik Theater Festival.
He is co-creator of The Cottontails, as well as the acclaimed jazz/funk/electronica band Diggsville. Randy also plays in The Ralph Carney Serious Jass Project, the rocksteady reggae band The Impalers, and The GG Amos Band, a West Coast Blues band with whom he toured Europe in March and April of 2011. With roots in symphonic percussion and jazz, he enjoys exploring a wide range of musical styles.
Tom Griesser is a saxophonist and a clarinetist who has been performing on the San Francisco music scene for 25 years. He first became interested in jazz from hearing his father's record collection, which included works by Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington. Tom studied clarinet with Richard Joiner, principal clarinetist of the Denver Symphony Orchestra, and later studied alto saxophone with the legendary Hal Stein.
Since the early 1990s Tom has been performing on tenor, alto and baritone saxophones and clarinet with many jazz bands, including St. Vitus Dance, Timmie Hesla Big Band, and the New Morty Show. Tom performed on sax and bass clarinet with the Marcus Shelby Orchestra, recording on four albums with that group. He was an original member of Brass Monkey Brass Band, and has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival and the Hollywood Bowl with that group, opening for the Meters and the Neville Brothers. Tom also leads B3B4, a jazz organ quartet, and the Tom Griesser 3, a jazz trio.
Scott Larson is a trombonist, arranger, composer and bandleader in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been performing in the Bay Area for over two decades now, performing a variety of genres of music, and has played with such Jazz legends as Ray Brown, Smith Dobson, Bill Berry, Maria Muldaur, Dizzy Gillespie & Marcus Shelby. He currently leads the bands, Franco Nero, Lucky 7, and the Scott Larson Quintet and Trio.
Bassist Sam Rocha showed an interest in music from a very early age. Beginning with piano lessons at age 4, his formal musical studies soon expanded to include the viola and bass guitar. At age 15, he fell in love with the acoustic string bass and has since identified himself as a bassist, playing his first professional gigs at 17 with Fresno's Blue Street Jazz Band, among others. While largely self-taught on the string bass, Sam has closely studied such masters of the instrument as "Pops" Foster, Al Morgan, Milt Hinton, Bob Haggart, Jimmy Blanton, Ray Brown, Walter Page, and Scott LaFaro. In addition to his in-depth study of classic bass playing, Sam has absorbed the nuances of classic jazz tuba, cornet, and guitar playing, and he regularly performs on those instruments as well. Quickly becoming one of the rising stars of the traditional jazz and gypsy swing circuit, Sam is known for his innate musicality and rhythm and for his inventive, melodic solos.
Christianna Valentina is one half of the 1920's/30's harmonizing duo The Bluebelles, along with Karina Denike, specializing in early swing and jazz, doo wop and forgotten ditties in the style of the Andrews Sisters, The Ink Spots and the Boswell Sisters. The soulful honey-tongued singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist also performs renditions of the classic American standard songbook, Brazilian music, Tango, and Italian songs with The Cottontails, The Lowdowns, Mr. Lonesome and The Bluebelles, and as a solo artist. She has toured internationally and has had her music on soundtracks and film scores.